Science and Spirituality
Anyone else out there in the webspace sporting an acute allergy to scientific or pseudoscientific explanations of spirituality and spiritual phenomena? I would get a rash when exposed to sloppy scientific argumentation ever since I can remember, however when it comes to spiritual matters, the alarm rises to anaphylactic shock levels. I love my hard-core lab-geek friends, and I am one of them. I love my hippie universe friends, and I am one of them, too.
Both sides of me happily coexist inside of my own being; the triggers arise usually when hippies forget the delicate art of METAPHOR and use scientific terminology LITERALLY to explain whatever they feel is true but can't be exactly put into words (thank you, Wittgenstein, for declaring the language as the uttermost limit of our reality here, because it simply is).
Terms such as "frequency", "vibration", "energy", mean ONE thing to science; they are well-defined and mutually correlated by mathematical formulas. No flexibility allowed.
Those very same terms often get shuttled around in the hippie community that speaks of "higher frequency", "positive vibrations", etc; all of it, when used as analogy to express complex concepts and ideas that find no other way into human words is perfectly fine. What I find unbearable is when random online gurus rape quantum mechanics language and concepts, to convince the rest of the folk that their spiritual theory is scientifically proven. Are you really that lame to state that whatever supernatural truth you are trying to convey is so fragile that it desperately needs corroboration by a shaky, induction-based, human-made science? Bottomline: spirituality doesn't need science to validate it. It doesn't need instruments to measure it or charts to prove it.
Supernatural, scientifically unexplainable phenomena do occur - and whoever fails to observe them because the evidence doesn't fit into the current scientific dogma is a bad scientist. (Lab folk tends to discard things as nonsense when it seems too outlandish. The history is full of examples of valid scientific discoveries that got rejected as insanity, just to be granted a Nobel Prize a few decades later. Google Barbara McClintock, Stanley B. Prusiner and Barry Marshall, just to name a few.)
My allergy alarm bell rings as loud in front of bad scientists, too. Those who fail to acknowledge that science is a belief-based system, too, as it is based on inductive reasoning. Those who fail to notice that no, we will never be able to analyse all of the cases, and that therefore the science and anything it comes up with is never to be taken as an absolute truth, but as our search to explain and correlate the things we observe. The observation issue, or better, the absence of good observation is perhaps the greatest of all disappointments that I encountered in my research career. The closing of one or both eyes in front of "ugly numbers", nonsensical data, experiments that work one day and are completely or partially non-repeatable a several months later, the general use of statistics as a damn photoshop that can transform any ugly experimental bullshit into a cover-page top model.
Because this is what the vast majority of the scientific research out there is at the moment: it is the "how do I produce publishable data that fit the current story?" rather than the good old "let's observe the nature and try to figure out what is going on behind the curtains".
That said, the mystery of this Universe is what makes it so charming and beautiful; the fact that we will always have more questions than answers makes a life worth living. Whatever systems we develop to expand our understanding of it are curious, and most of all - uncertain.
And it is uncertainty, my ħoney, the most beautiful sea we will ever get to swim in...